I get sick of talking about food sometimes. As a mom, I have to think about food way too much. So today, I want to talk about bath time.
I like bath time because Ben plays by himself for at least fifteen minutes and I can pick up the books and toys scattered around his room or put laundry away while he splashes around. I also like bath time because Ben is confined and we can interact without him running away. So, I spend a few minutes of bath time practicing letters, numbers, and colors with him.
My sister-in-law claims her kids learned how to read in the tub from her husband who used something like these Munchkin Bath Letters to spell out words. What a fun way to learn how to read! I’m putting her claim to the test. I don’t dump all the letters (or numbers) in the tub at once. I usually put in the letters B-E-N, or D-O-G, or A-B-C-D-E or the numbers 1,2,3. We also do cheesy things like sing the alphabet song in the tub and Ben always says, “again!” at the end. It’s kind of sweet when kids are still little cheese balls.
Another bath toy I’ve loved is one my in-laws gave Ben. It’s this B. Fish & Splish Bath Boat. The boat comes with all different colored fish and a fishing pole to catch them.
I heard somewhere that not only should I talk to my babies and toddlers, but I should ask them questions–questions with specific answers and questions with open ended answers. Communicating in this way will help their development. So, during bath time I ask Ben questions like, “Ben, can you catch the red fish?” or “What color of fish did I just catch?” I also ask open ended questions like, “Which is your favorite fish?” and “What is the captain doing now?” Ben isn’t great at identifying colors yet and we don’t have in-depth conversations, but it’s a fun way to start learning together.
The Fish & Splish boat is also a good toy for improving fine motor skills because it takes some serious concentration and coordination to catch those fish! Oh, and my favorite part about the boat? You can wind up the paddle wheel and the boat putt-putts around in the water.
There are some other toys Ben doesn’t have that I think would be fun an educational. The ALEX Toys Rub a Dub Water Drums and the ALEX Toys Rub a Dub Xylophone focus on music. If you have multiple children in the bath together you could even get the ALEX Toys Rub a Dub Tubtune Symphony set that has drums, a xylophone, and flutes. All these instruments in the tub could be super fun…or super annoying. I’m not sure which! My husband would especially love the cacophony 😉 I’m going to start buying them for birthday and Christmas gifts for Ben and see how it goes.
I get bored playing with my kids unless we’re learning a new skill. I can’t just have fun. I know, my poor children. So I like having educational bath toys like these.
Do you have any great toys for the tub? What do your toddlers like to do during bath time? Do you try and make play time educational? Or do you think simply playing is the most important education for a toddler? Do you think educational toys are important or do you think simple plastic measuring cups or spoons are better because they encourage imaginative play? I would love to hear your opinion and ideas!
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